On the Journey With… Marcia

Each week I interview someone who has experience infertility firsthand. This week, I’m chatting with Marcia from Our Eggcellent Adventure. I really appreciate her candor in this interview, and I think her About Page is one of the most clever ones I’ve seen on an infertility blog. Enjoy!

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Q. Tell us a little about yourself.

Hi, I’m Marcia. Former Nanny, Infertility Survivor and First Time Stay-at-Home Mom. I recently started my blog (Our Eggcellent Adventure) to chronicle my life from before, during and after my battle with infertility.

Q. How long did you TTC and what issues were you facing?

We were TTC’ing for seven long years. We began trying about six months after we got married in 2006. A few short months later, it was discovered that I had PCOS and was going to need some help in trying to conceive. (Boy did we!) We began seeing a specialist right away. We tried Clomid, injections, meds, IUI’s and finally IVF (both Fresh and Frozen). My husband did not have any issues.

Q. How did you take of yourself physically, emotionally, and spiritually during your struggles?

If it was available, I tried it. I began working out to try and put my PCOS symptoms at bay and to put myself in a position to conceive better. Of course, my PCOS made that tough at times and I didn’t see much result right away. I also started Yoga, Acupuncture, Seeing a Therapist, Group Therapy and a Mind/Body Support Group. When money allowed (which we all know is sparse when doing treatments), I went for monthly massages at the local college. Through my journey, I began finding friends who were going through the same as me. I planned many get togethers with these ladies which helped in sorting out the junk in my head and also helped me in deciding my next move or learning more about treatment options.

Q. What was your lowest point and how did you survive it?

After my second miscarriage in 2010 (they were six months apart), I fell REALLY low! I began to remove myself from my friends and family. I didn’t have the energy to go out and be amongst people and I surely didn’t want to work. I called in a LOT for the first year after that. I even began to have thoughts of suicide and it was at this point that I knew I needed to get some help. This is when I found the mind/body support group. The group meditations and weekly meetings helped to slowly bring me back to who I was. I wouldn’t have survived without the help of a psychologist and the support from my infertility gals. I really owe everything to them. I also decided to leave my job as a Nanny and started to take some time for myself. Piece by Piece, I put myself back together and got ready to tackle my last treatment in August 2013.

Q. Were you able to find a “silver lining” in your infertility?

While going through treatments, no. I couldn’t imagine how something like that could happen to “good people”. I was angry. I was sad. I was lost. And I couldn’t accept (and still find it hard to) that “Everything Happens for a Reason”. Finally, in April 2014, I had my rainbow baby via IVF. She is my true one-and-only miracle and the love of my life.

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Q. What advice would you give to women who are about to start their first IVF cycle?

Go into the process with a clear head. If you are still feeling anxiety or pain from a previous loss or failed treatment, you aren’t going to be able to go through the process with a positive outlook. Find a therapist or support group that can help you before, during and after your IVF treatment. Ask your RE all the questions you want. Don’t feel like you don’t have a voice in the treatment. Be your best advocate! But, also accept that you have no control and allow the process to unfold. (Sometimes easier said than done. It took me 7 years to accept that I had no control.)

Q. What made you decide to blog about your experience?

While I was struggling through my years of treatments, I followed several bloggers. It was their words that helped me at many points throughout my journey. It was them who helped me to open up about my own journey and step-by-step I began to reach others who were also going through the same. I feel that if my story helps even one person, then I have done something right and it was all worth it. I don’t ever want anyone to feel like they are walking alone through the infertility journey.

Q. Anything else you’d like to tell my readers?

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You are not alone. You are not crazy. All the feelings and thoughts you are having are completely normal. Your journey may be short or long, but in the end you will find some resolve. I promise. (((Hugs)))

Many thanks to Marcia for sharing her story. Please leave her a comment below to let her know you appreciate her, and consider pinning this image so others can find her story.

I’d love to feature YOUR story in an upcoming interview. Please let me know if you’re interested. You do not have to submit a picture or have your own blog to participate. You can see all my previous interviews here.

Pray for Others {31 Days}

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Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.- James 5:16

I’m somewhat of a podcast addict. I’ll listen to 10-15 podcasts each week. This past week I heard one that has stayed with me for days.

Craig McConnell is one of the bloggers for John Eldredge’s Ransomed Heart ministry. During one of their recent podcasts, entitled The Story You Find Yourself In, he spoke about how he’s going through a recurrence of cancer, and how God is teaching him to pray for others even when he’s in the middle of deep physical and emotional suffering himself. Around the 11 minute mark he says:

“It feels cruel- when you’re suffering- that God would ask you to put your eyes and focus your attention on others…There’s no exemptions to love the Lord your God with all your heart, and love others… When you suffer you feel justified to be preoccupied with yourself. Understandably so. To some degree, necessarily so. And yet in my pain and suffering, God came and said, “I want you to- in your pain and suffering- to love others.” And what felt cruel initially ended up turning into this rich communion with God, where I felt like this must be some of what the cross felt like for Christ. The absolute severe physical and personal pain of the crucifixion, and yet He’s concerned for the hearts and lives of others. And his whole heart is turned towards others.”

Did that take your breath away like it did mine?  “When you suffer you feel justified to be preoccupied with yourself.”

Isn’t that so true? I know this has been such a struggle during infertility. My heart is so heavy and so wounded that it’s hard sometimes to find room for others and carry their burdens, too.

But our ultimate example is Christ, and when He was in the middle of doing the most difficult thing anyone had ever done (the crucifixion), He prayed for others: “Father, forgive them…” (Luke 23:34).

In our own pain, we can pray for others out of duty, or we can choose to use our prayers as a means of inviting God into our pain even further. It will take tremendous strength to pray during our own time of need, but God will come through and strengthen us in the process.

I encourage you to listen to the entire podcast. It’s only about 20 minutes long and is so incredibly inspiring and insightful.  It’s available for free online at the Ransomed Heart podcast page or on iTunes (link will launch iTunes).

Pick one or two people to pray for today. Spend some time asking God to give them what they need, and to help you be others-focused even in the midst of your own pain.

Download Today’s Free Prayer Journal Printable

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{Read all my 31 Days of Prayer During Infertility posts or sign up to receive email notifications when the 31 Days of Prayer eBook is available for purchase.}

Pray for Your Specific Situation {31 Days}

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Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart.- Colossians 4:2

For the last 29 days you’ve been praying for topics I’ve suggested. I think they’re all very worthwhile things to be praying for, but prayer is personal. We don’t always need suggestions or prompts. We can come to God and pray for whatever is on our mind.

So today, let me encourage you to pray for whatever is on your heart.  This is a short post, so use the extra few minutes to have an extended time with God.

Maybe you need to talk to Him about your specific fertility situation.

Maybe you want to go back and revisit one of our earlier topics that really spoke to you.

Or perhaps you just need to sit and listen for God’s voice.

As you pray today, ask God to reveal what you two need to talk about.

Download Today’s Free Prayer Journal Printable

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{Read all my 31 Days of Prayer During Infertility posts. Or sign up to receive email notifications when the 31 Days eBook is available for purchase.}

Pray for Community {31 Days}

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Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.- Galatians 6:2

There is one thing I know for certain about infertility: you don’t want to go through it alone.

It can feel like a tremendous risk to open yourself up to a connection with someone else going through infertility.

“What if she gets pregnant and I don’t?”

“What if my treatments work and hers don’t?”

“It’s hard enough to go through my own pain. I don’t want to get too involved with someone else’s.”

The Bible tells us to bear one another’s burdens. It seems counterintuitive, but when we bear someone else’s burdens, our own load is lightened in the process.

God shows up in community (Matthew 18:20). He speaks to us through the lives and words of others.  I don’t know about you, but I often feel like God provides comfort, encouragement, and wisdom to me through the interactions I have with other infertility-sisters.

We need to resist the temptation to withdraw and isolate myself during infertility. We may think it would be easier to do this alone. We wouldn’t have to deal with the awkward comments and questions. We’d have a lot more privacy.

But we’d be missing out on so much love and prayer sent our way. Yes, Jesus often withdrew to be alone, but he also spent a lot of his time traveling with, eating with, living with, and just being with eleven other men. His entire ministry took place in the context of community.

If we are to become more like Christ, we must embrace the idea of community.

Just the fact that you’re reading this blog means that you are open to the idea of gaining wisdom from someone else’s infertility experience. Let me encourage you (and myself– I’m preaching to myself here!) to take it deeper and connect with people who are willing to bear your burdens and let you bear theirs.

As you pray today, ask God to connect you to a community of people committed to sharing each other’s burdens during infertility.

Download Today’s Free Prayer Journal Printable

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{Read all my 31 Days of Prayer During Infertility posts. Or, sign up to receive email notifications when the 31 Days of Prayer During Infertility eBook is available for purchase.}

Why I Share My Infertility Story {plus the Link up}

As a lead up to Giving Tuesday, RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association is asking people to spread awareness about the disease of infertility and the RESOLVE organization.  This month, bloggers around the world are writing about why they share their infertility story.

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I Share My Story Because I Need the Support

Infertility is hard.  It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever been though.  It changes almost everything about your life in that it majorly affects your finances, your marriage, your health, your emotions, and your self-image.

I realized early on that I couldn’t walk this road alone.  I wanted to learn from other women who were walking with me and were maybe just a little bit ahead of me.  I needed to hear that my treatments really might work.  And I needed to hear that even if they don’t- I’ll be okay.

I Share My Story Because It Gives My Pain a Purpose

Just as my fellow bloggers and writers have encouraged me in the past two years, I want to encourage others who need it.  Everyone’s story is unique and we all have our individual pieces of wisdom to pass on.  I take great comfort in hearing from women who tell me my blog encourages them and gives them hope.  I know that my story will not be wasted.  It has a purpose- and part of that is helping others.

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 I Share My Story Because I Want to Break the Silence

According to RESOLVE, the disease of infertility affects 1 out of every 8 couples of childbearing age.  That means that it’s very likely that someone you know suffers from the disease.  Yet infertility is still somewhat taboo, and many people suffer in silence.  They endure the treatments, the disappointments, and hardships (and even the victories) without sharing it with loved ones.  Because of the reluctance to speak out, the majority of the general public is very ignorant about infertility.

It doesn’t have to be that way.  We live in an age where we have the ability to spread a message of hope to anyone who’s willing to listen.  So I share my story in hopes of educating others.  It’s cliche, but knowledge really is power.  The only way we can raise funds for more research and medical breakthroughs is by speaking out!

Now it’s your turn!  My weekly infertility link-up is one way you can participate in sharing your infertility story!

Here’s How It Works

  1. Use the blue “Click Here to Enter” link below to share your best infertility-related post from the last week or so. I’ve started things off by linking to my favorite post from this week
  2. Please remove any profanity from the title of your link-up submission.
  3. At the bottom of your post, please link back to my blog so others can find the link-up. You can use the button below, if you wish. A text link is fine, too.
  4. Please visit at least one other blog in the link-up and leave a comment there. This is so important because the goal of a link-up is to generate community!
AmateurNester



This post is linked up with Making a Home // Time Warp Wife // A Bowl Full of Lemons // Imparting Grace // Graced Simplicity // Homemaking Party // Thriving Thursday // SHINE Blog Hop // WholeHearted Wednesday